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The Race to the Bottom
Chinese spa covers have flooded the Australian market. They are supplied with each new spa purchased and last between 18 months and 3 years before perishing. After that, the spa owner needs to find a replacement cover. You will then most likely turn to an ‘Australian’ Manufacturer and that’s when the buyer needs to beware.
After almost 30 years supplying spa covers, I’ve watched the Industry slowly change to remain competitive. A spa cover costs the same today as it did 30 years ago. How is that possible? You don’t have to be Einstein to realise that cutting production costs is the only way to compete for price.
Currently you can buy a Chinese cover on-line or a production-run Australian made cover for $450 - $500.
If you’re shopping around using price as the barometer, then what are you actually getting for your money?
What you’re getting is a cover made using cheap Imported ‘Marine’ Vinyl, reconstituted Polystyrene foam, ultra thin plastic wrapping around the foam ( which will perish after only one summer allowing the sponge-like foam to absorb water ), sweat shop style sewing with pleated vinyl and creases, locks and skirt lengths in default positions that may not suit your spa’s situation, cheap unskilled factory labour, negligible after sales, inefficient lead times and office contact people often stressed to the point of rudeness.
Cost cutting is totally counter-productive. The consumer ends up with a product that simply won’t last the journey.
When you stop believing in a product it completely undermines who you are and what you stand for. That’s not spin, it's simply reaching the point of not wanting to sell the one product you know more about than anyone else in the Industry.
Instead of competing for price, we've elected to focus on quality, by manufacturing a product that compares with the old-style covers - the ones that lasted for 20 years.
It means a cost per unit increase of around 15% to create a product that will last at least 3 - 4 times longer. The math is compelling and I get to sleep soundly at night knowing we have happy customers.
Using experienced craftsmen, everything is hand made ( no mechanisation apart from a hot-wire for the reinforcing grooves ) , the sewing is in-house and top class. We are using a superior marine vinyl , high-grade, thick plastic wrapping around ‘virgin-grade’ polystyrene foam inlays and better quality synthetic thread. Everything is tailored to suit individual requirements - lock location, skirt length and urgent requests.
In short, a superior product created with care and by reversing the endless cost cutting. We’ve opted out of the senseless ‘race to the bottom’.